Tribal child welfare practice delivery can look very different across Indian Country. The ways in which tribes operate and protect their children is often impacted by their government-to-government relationships and agreements. Tribes are full partners in the design and implementation of programs administered by states with funding from the US. Department of Health and Human Services.
This comprehensive resource includes an extensive toolkit intended to assist tribes and non-Native partners with collaboration. The featured tools and information can help guide and strengthen relationships as tribal and state governments find ways to effectively work together and achieve improved outcomes for Native children and families. We encourage you to spend some time exploring and reflecting on the wealth of information shared in this resource.
Problem solving child welfare issues, including ICWA compliance, often brings tribal and state agencies and governments into contact requiring various collaborations and partnerships to address the needs of Native families. However, tribal-state relationships vary by state, ranging from collaborative to contentious. Communication and trust may be at very different places on a continuum. Meaningful and effective relationships are key.
tribal-Federal Relations and Responsibility
Indian Children and the Federal-Tribal Trust Relationship
“The federal duty of protection of internal tribal sovereignty, which has been strongly linked to the welfare of Indian children since the Founding, is now as closely realized as it ever has been throughout American history. In the Self-Determination Era, modern federal laws, including ICWA, constitute a return of federal Indian law and policy to constitutional fidelity.”
Fletcher, Matthew L. M. and Singel, Wenona T., Indian Children and the Federal-Tribal Trust Relationship (April 28, 2016)
The Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act establishes funds for tribal specific prevention and treatment programs for family violence and child abuse. Following findings that many Native children were abused by federally-funded employees this law serves to prevent further exploitation. Enacted in 2016, the Native American Children’s Safety Act (NACSA) updates the original Act by extending the requirements for background checks to foster care placements.
Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act (25 USC Chapter 34)
Native American Children’s Safety Act (NACSA) (P.L. 114-165)